First full peal for East Layton

Four bell-ringers from Cumbria and Shropshire made ringing history on December 7 in the tiny church of Christ Church, East Layton. The church was built in 1895 to an ambitious design supposedly based on Worcester cathedral despite having pews holding less than 60 people, and had its fine ring of 4 bells installed then. Having been cast as a ring, the bells sound well together; many older towers have acquired their bells by various means (sometimes dubious) over several centuries and they do not always sound as harmonious together as the ringers would like.

There was an active band of ringers at East Layton in the early days but now the bells are rarely rung, and only by very occasional visiting bands. These four ringers asked to ring the peal there because not only had a full peal of 5040 changes never been rung at East Layton in its 121 years, it was also the last 4 bell tower in Yorkshire never to have had a full peal rung there. Kevin Price, Andrew Gordon, Andrew Holland and Jane Holland took 2hrs 51 mins to ring the 5040 changes which involved 11 different methods (patterns by which to make the changes) and several repetitions of each. As Andrew Holland remarked, “Peal ringing on 4 bells is somewhat of a minority interest so it will be something of a rarity.” In spite of their fondness for the bells in small doses, the residents of East Layton, will no doubt be pleased to hear this. Most ringers who ring full peals do so on at least 7 bells where the number of possible changes is 5040. 

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